Landscaper seeks weekend drop-off hours for grass clippings

By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE – A local lawn care business owner says weekend hours are needed at the city’s recycling center to prevent grass clippings from smelling up the city.

The center currently accepts organic yard waste from businesses from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, but John Patton, who operates Patton Lawn and Snow Service at 2343 18th, said he pays for dumping rights, and that the limited hours pose a hardship by preventing him from taking lawn waste to the recycling center on weekends.

“My grass clippings sit on my truck over the weekend, which is not a desirable situation from the standpoint of odor and cleanliness,” Patton said.

He asked the City Council on Monday to change recycling center hours to include at least limited weekend hours for commercial dumping of grass clippings.

“I am sure we commercial providers would even go at the end of the day on the weekends to afford the citizens the time in the morning to do their recycling of grass clippings without the congestion of commercial trucks,” Patton said.

Mayor Joseph Peterson expressed sympathy for the situation and asked the council if anything could be done to relieve the problem, saying many residents recycle their clippings on weekends.

Weekend hours would require the presence of a unionized Department of Public Service employee and a supervisor, City Engineer Mark Kowaleski said, and also could result in overfilled receptacles.

“If we had all of the contractors using it on the weekend, the bins would fill up,” he said.

Councilman James DeSana suggested that contractors pay more for weekend dumping in order to prevent the city from incurring additional costs.

Patton said that as a city contractor he paid $50 per vehicle, but that he would be willing to pay more to get rid of grass clippings on weekends. He also said he liked the idea of having a receptacle at the center so he could dump grass clippings anytime.

Kowaleski said he was concerned about possible cross contamination from the dumping of nonorganic garbage in such a receptacle, but that officials would consider Patton’s request.

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